Revolution & Superman


by PedramMoallemian

  Been watching this unedited and unfinished video on youtube for the past half hour or so. At 11, I was too young to attend all those demonstrations but along with my young uncle, we managed to escape the watchful eyes of my grandfather or mother enough times to still see plenty of similar scenes. I more particularly remember the smells, feel of winter clothes in close proximity of large crowds, the rush of people backwards and down as the sound of bullets picked up in unison to warn of an incoming barrage.

My most vivid memories prior to the final days involve inadvertently stepping in a pool of human blood, where an injured protester had just been removed. I am not sure if he survived, but he had lost plenty of blood in a rather short time.

I also remember another day when we had a third partner. Shahram was really a friend of my uncles' with a great gift. He could draw really well. His talent, along with my own interest in drawing and calligraphy had made us friends also. But his art was very different than mine. He was great at drawing detailed cars, but I liked flowing animals. He drew exact copies of superheros in action, particularly Aquaman and Superman, while I experimented with abstract cubes penetrating spheres.

On this particular day, I had brought Shahram a surprise; a genuine American Superman magazine I can not recall where I had gotten from. He was beyond excited, of course, watching page after page of action shots and explaining how he could do it better or more likely; how it was already done so perfectly. All three of us where doing this right in the middle of a walking group of demonstrators that were chanting and carrying signs, going north from what was Fooziyeh square.

There was the occasional sound of shooting, not unusual for 1978 in Tehran, but for most part the demonstration had moved along uneventful with little interruption from soldiers based at the square who just watched as we passed them.

As the three of us were getting really into the Superman action, I suddenly looked up and it looked as if the three of us were standing in the middle of the street by ourselves. I then looked up and can still clearly remember the reflection of the sun off the helmet of a soldier on top of a personnel carrier with a mounted heavy machine gun pointed towards our general direction. There was also a caravan of other personnel carriers, jeeps, and tanks following them.

It turns out that everyone else had seen them coming and also noticed the soldiers at the square (now behind us) closing the road to trap everyone within a two or three blocked area. Many had sought shelter in stores on either side and a large number were trying to get inside a large hospital when the shooting began and the three of us were still frozen in the middle.

I don't know which one of us started running and pulled the other two but it sure wasn't me. We must have ran at full speed for about half an hour until we reached Shahram's home on Gorgan avenue, way out of the danger zone.

We then sat on their front door step, watching the cars, people busying themselves on the small sidewalks and finishing our discussion on Superman.

Just another day during the last great revolution.



Originally Published on:



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by jamshid on

Dear Pedram,

I appreciate your response, but I was really hoping to get an answer from the person with the "Anyone" id.

What you have to realize is that you are in agreement with me. By saying "almost none had weapons", or "a handful at most", you are admitting that a few might have had weapons. But how many? How many were necessary to further the revolution's goal and stage the "koshtaare shabaaneh"?

Be open about it. Think about it without letting your emotions and attachments get in your way.

I also disagree with your opinion that "almost all their members (cherik and mojahed) were in prison until the near end."

This is not true! I met many of them in meetings and many more in the demonstrations several months before the end. Many of them skillfully coordinated the domonstrations while they were taking place. Where is your source that all of them were in prison? I think you should research this.

I never said I "believe" that the "koshtaare shabaaneh" were staged. I said, I KNOW that they were staged. There is a big difference.


There was this guy in my

by Fatollah (not verified) on

There was this guy in my hometown, known as Abbas Taxi, he was arrested for drinking alcohol, i.e. aragh in 1358 or 1359, not sure of the year though! They brought him to the town square and he recieved x numbers of lashes in front of a crowed that had gathered in and around the square. When they were finished with him, he stood up tall and turned away to the crowed and said in local language; people! I recieved my oil money, now go and claim yours!!! Nevermind, they tried him once more for the profanity! and his outrage! God bless his soul and he never participated in that so called revolution!

In those days, some of the jugdes in the revolutionary courts turned out to be leftist 'tudeh-ies' and a like, disguised as islamist revolutionaries defending the revolution and its ideals. The realities eventually caught up with them and ironically these people also payed the ultimate price!

cheers F.


Movie or Genuine?

by PedramMoallemian on

Jamshid jaan;

I can see the point made by anyone and agree for most parts.

As to answer to your first question; the leftist organizations (primarily mojahedin and cherikha) had what little was left of their cache of weapons after savak raids but almost all their members were in prison until the near end. People around khomeini had none or a handful at most. So to answer your question, off millions who demonstrated on A'shua and Ta'sua of 1357 (for example), almost none had any weapons of any kind.

If you are happy believing some outside force was directing a "show", that is obviously your experience and I can't argue with that. It is just very different than what I remember. And after nearly 30 years, I would be surprised if each of us didn't have our own version of what actually took place.

All the best,

Pedram Moallemian


Re: Anyone

by jamshid on

It is not Javid, it's Jamshid. 

"before the final 48 hour of monarchy in Iran, almost none of the demonstrators were armed..."

Almost none? So are you saying that "some" were armed?

I want to ask you a question. Do you or do you not believe that there were armed revolutionaries even six months before the fall of the regime? Please don't change the subject and answer the question. I just want to know your response.

"Ambulances didn't work for demonstrators... They were a government service..."

Many govenment employees who sympathized with the revolution were gladly working and cooporating with the the revolution's lieutenants. A few ambulance workers didn't even make the tip of the iceberg. Are you kidding?

I have another question for you. Can you or can you not give a few examples of government workers who were "owned" by the revolution? Again, I just want to know your response.

"you repeat a lie enough times, it may start to sound real..."

If you are referring to the lies that were repeated during the revolution, I quite agree with you.

You sound like you either belong to the post-revolution generation, or you were one of those "stay at home" revolutionaries who didn't witness anything. Either these, or you just don't want the image of the glorious revolution to be tarnished.



by jamshid on

At first, I sought to defend the revolution by any means in order to justify my participation and contribution to it. And I wasn't alone.

With passage of time, I realized that I could no longer lie to myself and live with false excuses, just so that I could feel comfortable and proud about myself and my role, and the revolution. Again, I was not alone.

But there were those who wanted to cling on to the glory and pride of the revolution at any cost. They couldn't let go nor could they live with the guilt. For them, justifying the revolution by all means was a way out of the discomfort that regret and pain would otherwise bring to them.

Sadly, they never realized that feeling the miseries of guilt, the pain and later the immense anger would actually be a good thing for them, and that it was the only true way out.

Many of them are still living in their comfortable dreams.


Creative History Created Right Here!

by Anyone (not verified) on

Javid's version reads like an unfinished Hollywood story that took place in a different land as facts don't quite match. Ambulances didn't work for demonstrators so couldn't be dispatched anywhere to add to the drama. They were a government service and would naturally head to places with larger gatherings, expecting the largest need. The 'koshtan, koshtan' story couldn't be far from fiction either as before the final 48 hour of monarchy in Iran, almost none of the demonstrators were armed to be able to pull such a plan off. Then again, you repeat a lie enough times, it may start to sound real.


Dear anonymous .

by IRANdokht on

first of all: why are you so angry? is this about another issue you want to take off your chest by any chance?

I was not much older than Mr Pedram back then, I told him how I felt about the people who were on streets. They terrified me, I didn't like what was happening to me and to my family and to my country.

Did I condemn those kids and ask for their execution? Are you for real?

I can't tell anyone how I felt as a child because someone here is going to follow me around and accuse me of hypocrisy?

I didn't have any comment for Pedram's blog, but Jamshid's comment moved me. I replied to jamshid and out of courtesy I also mentioned how I felt about the times and that I didn't have anything to say about those times.

Would you like me to ask for your permission before I speak too?

ajab roozegarieh



begining of the end

by MRX1 (not verified) on

Looking at savages running wild.some yelling name of psychopath khomeini. begining of end should be the title of this video.


Mrs. irandokht:With all due

by Anonymous . (not verified) on

Mrs. irandokht: With all due respect for you and your viewpoints, I find tis comment extremely disturbing and hypocritical of you and your claimed positions, most recently on the Stop Child Execution articles.

first, if you have nothing to comment on an article, please don't!Secndly, i thought you were of the opinion that people under 18 are children and must not be tried or executed as adults for their crimes. Mr. Moallmian already said in is article that he was only 11 when he went to the streets to watch those demonstrations.for you to say I was never on tose streets even out of curiosity and I despised people who were tells me that you condemn an 11 year old boy's actions to the point of punishing him for those actions even now! That makes you a hypocrite my lady. this is a shame because I usually find you very stimulating but this comment was appalling.

a good day to you.



by IRANdokht on

thanks for another honest and heartfelt revelation. You are brave my friend, most of the people who had more involvement in those staged scenes never came clean. You only pretended you didn't know and you are speaking out.

it's important

it's relevant

it's necessary for all of us to know what really took place and if people do not open up like you jsut did , many others will believe such faked videos and the history will never be told accurately.


Pedram: I have nothing to comment on your blog. I was never on those streets even out of curiosity and I despised people who were.


Thanks for sharing this

by jamshid on

Thanks for sharing this video eventhough it brought back so many unhappy memories.

When I watched the part of the video which shows ambulances carrying the injured, I could only close my eyes and feel pain and regret for having been in many similar scenes in those days, but turning my face the other way and letting it go.

The ambulance scenes were always carefully set in locations that were crowded with demonstrators to maximize its effect. Not only I knew it was a fake show to entice the people, I even participated in it by giving "sho'aars" to further alenating and irating the watchful people.

Another thing I had knowledge of, but again turned my face the other way, was the fake night massacres in which after dark, a team of dozen people would begin firing blanks in the air, while others fired real bullets into the nearby closed stores and buildings. This would continue for several minutes and then they'd stop and disperse. While the firing was taking place another smaller team poured a red liquid similar to blood in the streets.

About 10 minutes later, a much larger team which included many women, would pour into the streets, with the women shouting, "koshtan, koshtan", and the men making background sounds. They too would soon disperse.

The terrorized people who would hear these away in their homes would not only believe that a massacre had just taken place, they would even see proof of it the next day with bullet marks and blood in the nearby streets.

There were many other similar events, many of which I learnt only later. I am sure even if I knew of them, I would still turn my face the other way for the sake of "higher" goals. We were taught and believed that the end justified the means.



by PedramMoallemian on

Thanks Nazy Jann  for your comment.

I am sure that wedding picture will be a priceless memoribilia of the period to look at now. Maybe someone can pick up the idea and start collecting such items for an exhibition. Meanwhile, let us also not forget all the other young boys and girls this time that unaffraid of flying bullets or firing squads stood up to the ever expanding restrictions of the new regime and became part of the history as well. Thanks again.

Pedram Moallemian

Nazy Kaviani

Of Flying Bullets

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for sharing your memories with us. I was not living in Iran at the time, but even living abroad, one could feel the fear and confusion and excitement and "the flying bullets" of that period; memories now etched in contemporary Iranian history.

I remember receiving photographs of two educated family members at their wedding in early March 1979. In her wedding gown and in his tailored suit, right by their sofreh aghd, they were each holding a rifle, posing for the camera. Another photograph I received was showing a university professor family friend, armed and atop a tank driving through Tehran. Everyone and everything seemed to be changing, their activities and change interspersed with flying bullets.

Your short story was sad and sweet at the same time, showing another interesting and unique thing--the young boys engrossed in Superman comics had no fears of flying bullets. That's partly how that revolution happened. Those same boys were the ones who went to the warfront in a few short years after this. They seemed not to fear the flying bullets there, either. The rest is history.